COVID-19 resources

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LGA/ADASS COVID-19 briefing note: financial aspects of direct payments and support for personal assistants

Local Government Association

Briefing and advice note that covers the key financial aspects of direct payments (DP) and support for personal assistants (PAs) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The briefing provides some headline messages for Councils to focus on that focus on finance-related issues in prioritising direct payment holders and personal assistants. The briefing also includes some good practice examples to consider and follow in relation to how local authorities are supporting people in receipt of direct payments. Examples include: mirroring the up-front payments made to other care providers, a 5-10 per cent contingency advance payment added to DP holder budgets – to cover PPE, testing of PAs, etc and pooling of self-employed PAs to deploy to support contingency arrangements. The briefing was published on 11 June 2020.

Last updated on hub: 12 June 2020

Life after lockdown: tackling loneliness among those left behind

British Red Cross

This report draws on findings from a collection of national-level polling, interviews and evaluations from British Red Cross services during COVID-19 to shed a light on how to refocus efforts on tackling loneliness and supporting those most affected by the crisis. Key findings include: there has been a significant increase in the number of people feeling lonely – since lockdown 41 per cent of UK adults report feeling lonelier; more than a quarter of UK adults agree that they worry something will happen to them and no one will notice; a third of UK adults haven’t had a meaningful conversation in the last week; some communities have been at greater risk of loneliness than others – people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, parents with young children, young people, those living with long term physical and mental health conditions, people on lower incomes and those with limited access to digital technology and the internet; COVID-19 has also meant a loss in social support for refugees and people seeking asylum. To meet the challenges ahead and ensure no one is left behind and feels alone, the report makes a number of recommendations: prioritise those most vulnerable to loneliness; secure sustained funding for tackling loneliness; continue to roll out social prescribing and ensure it delivers for loneliness; work collaboratively across sectors and specialisms, and with people with lived experience of loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Life on hold: children’s well-being and COVID-19

The Children's Society

The report combines findings from the Children’s Society’s annual household survey conducted in April-June 2020 with over 2,000 young people aged 10-17, and a consultation with 150 children, seeking more in-depth information on the impact of Coronavirus and the associated lockdown on their lives. Parents report a wide range of impacts on their family, and on their children’s happiness with friends and how much choice they have in life and anticipate long term negative impacts on their children’s education. Encouragingly, given the range of impacts reported, only around half expect a long-term negative impact on the happiness of adults / children in the household. Most children reported having coped to some degree with the changes made as a result of the pandemic but felt the impact of not being able to see their friends and family and felt isolated. While most children are happy / satisfied, a greater proportion than usual scored below the midpoint on the preferred, and usually stable, multi-item measure of life satisfaction, which suggests that some children’s cognitive wellbeing has been adversely affected. Parents felt that some children were happier with their time use than before lockdown and children responding to the consultation also highlighted advantages, such as being able to pursue hobbies, and appreciating more what they have in life. The self-care strategies described by children are reminiscent of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, with their main focus being on connecting with others followed by being active and creative.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

Lifeline for all children and families with no recourse to public funds

The Children's Society

This report is focused on the experiences of families with dependent children who have ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) conditions on their leave to remain in the UK and are on the ten-year route to settlement. It is based on a review of available literature; analysis of data from the Home Office, the NRPF Network and The Children's Society's services; and on qualitative interviews with parents with direct experience of living with ‘no recourse to public funds’. The report shows that prior to the COVID-19 crisis families with NRPF conditions applied to their leave to remain in the UK were already facing an uphill battle. They were unable to rely on the lifeline of mainstream benefits, which are already means-tested by DWP for those on low income or facing financial hardship, illness or disability. The report argues that these additional, punitive Home Office-imposed restrictions mean that regardless of their needs or the hardship they face, including caring for a child with disabilities and having only one income to rely on, parents receive no support from mainstream benefits. The report makes a series of recommendations for policy, practice and further research. Among these are an urgent call on government to suspend NRPF conditions, immigration fees and Immigration Health Surcharge so families can access the lifeline of benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak. The government should also automatically extend all leave to remain including for those on the ten-year route and make this clear in guidance so that those whose leave is expiring during the pandemic are not put at greater risk of losing their jobs and livelihood.

Last updated on hub: 01 July 2020

Lifting lockdown: how to approach a coronavirus exit strategy

Institute for Government

This report warns that the government’s five tests for starting to lift the coronavirus lockdown are not a good enough guide to the longer-term exit strategy. It argues that the government must set out new tests which explain how it will balance economic and health concerns against each other in lifting the restrictions. The paper also recommends providing enough capacity to test those who might be infected and trace anyone with whom they have come into contact; lifting restrictions first for those businesses that are best able to implement social distancing in the workplace and for those sectors where the longer-term harms from the shutdown are likely to be most severe; and introducing encouragement and incentives, such as tax incentives or reducing support for furloughed workers, to bring people and businesses out of lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 12 June 2020

Limiting staff movement and cohorting of residents to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in care homes: a rapid review

Public Health England

Findings from a review of the evidence to examine the effectiveness of strategies to restrict staff movement and isolate groups of residents showing symptoms of Covid-19 (‘cohorting’) in reducing the transmission of the virus. The review found low-level evidence from three Covid-19 outbreaks in North America suggesting that restricting staff movement and cohorting of residents could help to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 within care homes. To fully understand the effectiveness of these two types of intervention in relation to Covid-19, more high-quality research is needed. Indirect evidence from the management of influenza and other outbreaks in care home settings may help to supplement understanding of effectiveness.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Lived experience: voices of older people on the COVID-19 pandemic 2020

Age NI

This report highlights the experiences of older people in Northern Ireland living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on feedback from the Consultative Forum at Age NI, it reflects key concerns and experiences through four key themes: support, health and care; communication and connection; loneliness and isolation; and grief and loss. The report finds that the pandemic and lockdown forced changes to many of the everyday care and support systems older people depend upon –restrictions on acute and community services made managing existing health concerns more difficult for many older people. Accessing sources of clear, up to date information has been very important during the lockdown – older people would like to access support and services online; they have concerns about using public transport for getting out and about again; and want safe ways to get back to their interests and activities. Older people are especially vulnerable to the effects of loneliness – older people shielding and not able to maintain movement and activity lost physical and cognitive fitness rapidly; and lack of connection and being unable to visit care homes caused some to worry about the risk of abuse and neglect. The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a significant increase in the number of excess deaths in Northern Ireland and older people feature disproportionately among them – families were distressed and concerned when advanced care planning was raised during the early stages of the pandemic; and people were worried and anxious about older people living in residential and nursing homes. The report provides a set of specific action points to help improve older people’s experience in relation to each of the four themes.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Liverpool City Council: sustaining intergenerational initiatives

Liverpool City Council

Practice example about how the Inter-generational Sustainable Skills Exchange funded by Liverpool City Council has continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service brings together socially isolated older adults and allow them to teach their life skills to parents and children in their community. Also covers some of the key challenges and learning points to date.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Living grief and bereavement: a booklet for anyone working with carers of people with dementia

This booklet aims to give professionals an understanding of the feelings of grief and bereavement that those caring for people with dementia can experience. It shows that carers can experience complex feelings of grief when the person they care for is still alive, and that these feelings can last long after the person dies. The booklet draws on the views of over 100 carers across the UK who participated in an online survey and focus groups. Carers views covered feelings of loss and grief, a loss of their own identity, their experiences of support, and advice for professional.

Last updated on hub: 04 June 2020

Living in poverty was bad for your health before COVID-19

The Health Foundation

This long read looks at the link between health and income. It explores the nature of the economic shocks experienced in recent years, including those stemming from COVID-19, and the consequences these might have on people’s health. It then considers how the current crisis may be used to build a fairer and healthier society. The paper highlights the extent to which income is associated with health – people in the bottom 40% of the income distribution are almost twice as likely to report poor health than those in the top 20% and poverty in particular is associated with worse health outcomes. Furthermore, income and health can both affect each other – lower income is associated with more ‘stressors’ which can harm health and allow fewer opportunities for good health. Poor health can limit the opportunity for good and stable employment and so affect income. The UK entered the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related economic shock from a starting position of stagnant income growth and low levels of financial resilience – the pattern of employment loss and furloughing by income suggests that the future economic consequences of COVID-19 may be borne by those on lower incomes. The paper argues that providing support to bolster people’s incomes for as long as necessary should remain a priority and the Government’s current package of support should be expanded. In addition, the ‘levelling up’ agenda should include investment to improve the health of the whole population and level up health outcomes.

Last updated on hub: 29 July 2020